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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

‘W is for Wasted’ by Sue Grafton

Published (USA) by Marian Wood Books/Putnam,
10 September 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-399-15898-8 (Hardcover)
(UK) by Macmillan.
12 September 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-230-74588-9

How to create a new plot after 22 previous Kinsey Millhone novels was no deterrent to the author who wasted no time in solving the important murders and tackling the problem of the homeless.  In addition, a dilemma for Kinsey:  What to do with more than a half-million dollars she inherits from a homeless man who dies on the beach, leaving her an
inheritance in his will.

A scurrilous PI turns out to be a murder victim, the apparent result of a robbery gone bad, leaving Kinsey another mystery to solve.  It turns out the PI is part of the plot, related to the death of the homeless man.  As the tale unfolds, there is just one additional thing for Kinsey to solve, and that is, what to do with the money: distribute to the man's three children (despite the fact that he had disinherited them); keep it; or find some other use for the moolah in
accordance with his perceived wishes.

The novel is well-plotted, but weighed down with all kinds of extraneous fill-in material, e.g., baking, Kinsey's love life (or lack thereof), introduction of former lovers, and one with a tangential relationship to the murdered PI.  Otherwise, "W" is the usual smooth effort, and another letter bites the dust.
Reviewer:  Ted Feit

Sue Taylor Grafton was born 24 April 1940 in Louisville, Kentucky. USA.  She is a contemporary American author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the 'alphabet series' featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. She is published in 28 countries and 26 languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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